Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

Finger Lickin’ Doom

March 1st, 2010

Dan O’Shea is hosting one of those Flash Fiction Challenges.  All of the pieces have to involve a church.

Here’s a link to a list of all the entrants:

I tried to write a short story, but this thing kept wanting to be a short play.  I’m too old to fight with my work.

So here it is:

Finger Lickin’ Doom

(Lights up.  A confessional in a church.  FATHER DENNY enters, a priest in his late-thirties.  He approaches the confessional and opens one of the doors to reveal BETTY, a woman in her twenties.  She sits, eating a bucket of what looks like fried chicken.  Periodically throughout the play a tinkling bell can be heard.)

FATHER DENNY:   What are you doing?!

BETTY:   Eating.

FATHER DENNY:  Eating!  But… What?

BETTY:   Wings.

FATHER DENNY:   I… This is a House of God!

BETTY:   I didn’t know anybody lived here.

FATHER DENNY:   Get out!

BETTY:   They’re angel wings.

FATHER DENNY:   Angel wings?

BETTY:   Yes.  The wings of angels.  Want one?

FATHER DENNY:   No!  Come out of there!

BETTY:   I’m okay.

(Pause.  FATHER DENNY collects himself.)

FATHER DENNY:   You really should come out of there.

BETTY:   I don’t see why.

FATHER DENNY:   Eating in a confessional… it’s not proper.

BETTY:   I shouldn’t eat wings in here?


BETTY:   Not even angel wings?

FATHER DENNY:   I don’t think they’re angel wings.

BETTY:   They’re very good.

FATHER DENNY:   Whatever they are, you’re making a mess!  They’re greasy and gritty and crumbly.

BETTY:   They’re extra-crispy.  And a tad Holy.  Want a taste?

FATHER DENNY:   They smell very good, but no thank you.  Will you come out?

BETTY:   I don’t think so.


FATHER DENNY:   Where did you get these “angel wings?”

BETTY:   Some guy.

FATHER DENNY:   Some guy?

BETTY:   That’s right.  He was selling them on the street.  Wicked grin, pointy beard, walked with a limp.  Just some guy.

FATHER DENNY:   You didn’t get them from Kentucky Fried Chicken or Popeye’s or Cluck and Jive?

BETTY:   All those places sell chicken.

FATHER DENNY:   That’s right.

BETTY:    These aren’t chicken.

FATHER DENNY:   It’s just that they look…

BETTY:   They’re angel.

FATHER DENNY:   That doesn’t make sense!

BETTY:   Doesn’t matter.  These are wings from the messengers of God.

FATHER DENNY:   How can you be sure?

BETTY:    Some things you just take on faith.  Bite?

FATHER DENNY:   They look very good, but no thank you.

BETTY:   Suit yourself.

FATHER DENNY:   We used to have chicken every Sunday at my Grandmother’s.  Sometimes fried, sometimes roast, sometimes this wonderful recipe where she stuffed a whole lemon inside the bird.  She’d bring it to the table, take out the lemon and someone would always say, “The chicken laid a lemon.”  Chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, chocolate cake and fresh baked bread.  No matter what else Grandma cooked, her house always smelled like fresh-baked bread.  They were good meals, filling and pleasant.  I still have a good meal every now and then, but not like those.

(BETTY coughs and chokes for a second, then pulls a long, white feather out of her mouth.)

BETTY:   These aren’t chicken, they’re angel.

(BETTY hands the feather to FATHER DENNY.)

FATHER DENNY:   Wouldn’t you feel a little more comfortable eating somewhere that you can have more room?

BETTY:   I’m really okay.

FATHER DENNY:   Isn’t it cramped in there?

BETTY:   Maybe a little.  What is this closet thing, anyway?  Is this where priests hang their coats?

FATHER DENNY:   It’s a place for people to confess their sins, for the Sacrament of Penance, for Reconciliation.  It’s a sacred place.

BETTY:   It’s kind of like a phone booth.  Is that what it is?  A phone booth for calling God?

FATHER DENNY:   In a way.  If you come out of there, I’ll tell you all about why it’s a good idea to get your sins off your chest.

BETTY:   I like my chest.  I’ll stay in here.

FATHER DENNY:   You look too young to know what a phone booth is.

BETTY:   What do you mean?

FATHER DENNY:   There aren’t any phone booths any more.  Cell phones have made phone booths go the way of the Long Jawed Mastodon.

BETTY:   I’ve had a cell phone since I was seven.

FATHER DENNY:   Phone booths are forgotten, extinct, dead and gone.

BETTY:   Like God!

FATHER DENNY:   Such a thing to say!

BETTY:   You sure you don’t want one?

FATHER DENNY:   They seem very good.

BETTY:   Their truculent.

FATHER DENNY:   I think you mean succulent.

BETTY:   I know what I mean.  Just one little, teeny-tiny nibble?

FATHER DENNY:   I’m very tempted, but… You need to come out of there.

BETTY:   It’s a shame, really.  You don’t know what you’re missing.  Every bite is a symphony of harps and haloes.  A tender crunch, meat that just falls off the bone, flavors that mix and mingle like a prayer.  A taste of these wings could be the closest to Heaven that some people ever get.  I think there’s even a little bit of a lemon zing.


BETTY:   Just like Grandma used to make.

FATHER DENNY:   I doubt they’re that good.

BETTY:   (Holding out a wing.) Only one way to find out.

(FATHER DENNY takes the wing from BETTY and hesitantly takes a bite.  He chews, swallows and smiles.)

FATHER DENNY:   Rapture!

BETTY:   I tried to warn you.

(FATHER DENNY takes a bigger bite of the wing.  He continues eating while he joins BETTY in the confessional.)

BETTY:   Shouldn’t we say Grace?

FATHER DENNY:   What’s the point?

(FATHER DENNY and BETTY eat angel wings as the lights slowly fade.

Lights down.)

7 Responses to “Finger Lickin’ Doom”

  1. Chris

    Fantastic! I really enjoyed this one. Very original!

  2. MRMacrum

    Indeed once the “apple” haas been tasted, what is the point? Very clever and well written. I am glad you did not fight your work.

  3. Four Dinners


    I do like this very very much.

    Actually, if you have the time to pop over to my entry I think you’ll see why.

    Crackin’ writing old bean.



  4. Patti Abbott

    It took me all day to figure out I had to click blog to find this. But it was worth it.

  5. Joyce Juzwik

    I’m glad you didn’t fight your work too. This is so clever and really enjoyable. Love the characters. Great job. Thanks for going with your instincts and sharing this.

  6. Dottie

    If you can’t beat em, join em, eh? Loved it, could see the Father actually joining Betty in her finger licking temptation.


  7. Jimmy Callaway

    Yeah, super good. I think the play form works far better than the short could. Excellent work.

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